Pilgrimage


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Oceania » New Zealand
December 25th 2015
Published: September 30th 2017
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Geo: -39.2489, 175.552

There are all sorts of pilgrimages one can do on the planet earth, usually of the spiritual variety, involving long and torturous journeys, and are a means to get closer to a higher power. So today, being Christmas Day, we thought it would only be fitting if we did our own pilgrimage, in honour of this special occasion. So we decided to hike to Mount Doom, and pay a visit to Lord Sauron for high tea!

It was terribly unlike Lord Sauron, who is normally a very accommodating and gracious host, but despite our prior communications confirming our date for tea today, he was nowhere to be found after a long, two-hour hike in the heat. Luckily for us, a few of the Nazgul were hanging around in the basement, smoking up some Longbottom leaf and browsing eBay for some gold rings, so we were able to at least figure out what the heck was going on

It turned out that Lord Sauron had left us his deepest apologies, because unfortunately, urgent business had taken him to the outskirts of Mordor, on this beautiful day in Middle Earth. Apparently, he had heard that Frodo, Sam, and Gollum were making a surprise trip there to deliver some jewelry, so of course, he wanted to be there to greet them in person. What a kind and lovely man, he probably went there early to ensure his guests would be greeted with a lovely spread for Elevensies!

So we quickly detoured to Mordor, since it would surely be a grand old time with that group of jovial rapscallions! But how to get there from Mount Doom? Having not passed that way before, we weren't sure of the exact route, so we used our ingenuity like all great navigators do, to find our way - we used Google maps! If you ever questioned the usefulness of Google maps, be assured that you can use it not only to get everywhere on Earth, but to also get anywhere on Middle Earth!

But sadly, the journey took far longer than expected, and we had just missed the group, who had already departed for Minas Tirith, for some sort of massive gathering, probably a rave of some sort. Since the day was getting long, we decided not to follow, instead vowing to catch up with everybody in a few days time, in Hobbiton. Instead, we temporarily left the realm of Middle Earth, and had dinner at the Chateau Tongariro - it wasn't quite Elevensies with hobbits, but it would have to do on this Christmas evening,


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Far Less Imposing On a Sunny Day ...Far Less Imposing On a Sunny Day ...
Far Less Imposing On a Sunny Day ...

... Mordor looked a hell of a lot scarier when Frodo and Sam were here in the movies!
Chateau Tongariro ...Chateau Tongariro ...
Chateau Tongariro ...

... though a bit run down, it's a true character building from a bygone era.
Pihanga Cafe ...Pihanga Cafe ...
Pihanga Cafe ...

... Being Christmas Day, hardly any restaurants were open in the area. We had hoped to eat at the Chateau Tongariro's renowned main dining room, but for tonight, only hotel guests were allowed to dine. So we ended up at the hotel's Cafe, for some forgettable Feijoa Apple smoothie and seafood penne.
Far Better Burger ...Far Better Burger ...
Far Better Burger ...

... despite the use of seemingly pre-made patties, this burger was way better than the penne. Positively monstrous, it was difficult to eat not only because of the sheer volume of meat, but also because the double patties made it so damn tall! Overall it was pretty good, and the use of beetroot in the burger was an interesting choice, even though it made for an overly sweet final product. The cherry tomato punched through the top of the bun was a bit comical - typically, it would be placed gently on top, but it seemed almost insulting the way it was presented!


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